Pipeline preview: Crawford set for Clearwater debut
Phillies' No. 3 prospect expected to play shortstop vs. Lakeland in Class A Advanced
The All-Star break will end early for Phillies' No. 3 prospect J.P. Crawford. A day after playing in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday, he will be promoted to Class A Advanced Clearwater.
Crawford, ranked No. 87 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, is expected to play shortstop Wednesday night when Clearwater concludes its three-game series at Lakeland at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Flying Tigers will send right-hander Kevin Eichhorn, who also was an All-Star this season, to the mound.
Crawford was the 16th overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League last summer and advanced to Class A Lakewood by the end of the season. Crawford returned there this spring and hit .295/.398/.405 with three home runs and 14 stolen bases in 60 games.
Now, Crawford is moving up again. At 19 years old, Crawford will become the youngest player in the Florida State League.
Accompanying Crawford's promotion is a position change for Roman Quinn, the Phillies' No. 4 prospect. He had been Clearwater's shortstop, but played his first professional game as a center fielder Monday. Quinn played the outfield in high school and, thanks to his top-of-the-scale speed, should be able to develop into a solid defender at his new position in time.
Quinn missed the second half of the 2013 season due to a broken wrist and then ruptured his Achilles tendon during an offseason workout, costing him the first six weeks of this season. In 21 games since returning to the Threshers' lineup, he is hitting .244/.311/.317 with three stolen bases.
Another highlight of Wednesday's Minor League slate will be a pitching matchup of the Red Sox's No. 8 prospect Anthony Ranaudo and Twins' No. 3 prospect Alex Meyer, as Triple-A Pawtucket visits Rochester. Both pitchers are ranked in the Top 100 (Meyer No. 24 and Ranaudo No. 95) and have started the season well. Meyer enters the game 4-3 with a 3.62 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings. Ranaudo is 7-4 with a 2.58 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 76 2/3 innings. The game, which begins at 7:05 p.m., can be seen on MiLB.TV.
In addition to Meyer and Ranaudo, a few other pitchers ranked in the Top 100 are slated to start Wednesday, including Jesse Biddle (No. 45), Eduardo Rodriguez (No. 58) and Nick Kingham (No. 89). Fans can watch all three on MiLB.TV, beginning with Kingham and Triple-A Indianapolis taking on Braves' No. 2 prospect Christian Bethancourt and Gwinnett at 1:35 p.m.
Top prospect probables
Tyler Anderson (Rockies' No. 10), Tulsa vs. Springfield
Manny Banuelos (Yankees' No. 11), Trenton vs. Bowie
Jesse Biddle (Phillies' No. 2), Reading vs. Akron
Sean Brady (Indians' No. 17), Mahoning Valley vs. Auburn
Austin Brice (Marlins' No. 18), Jupiter vs. Palm Beach
Andrew Chafin (D-backs' No. 12), Reno vs. Oklahoma City
Rafael De Paula (Yankees' No. 15), Tampa at Daytona
Marco Gonzales (Cardinals' No. 4), Springfield at Tulsa
Taylor Jungmann (Brewers' No. 8), Nashville at Las Vegas
Nate Karns (Rays' No. 7), Durham at Louisville
Nick Kingham (Pirates' No. 8), Indianapolis vs. Gwinnett
Alex Meyer (Twins' No. 3), Rochester vs. Pawtucket
Zach Petrick (Cardinals' No. 16), Memphis at Salt Lake
Anthony Ranaudo (Red Sox's No. 8), Pawtucket at Rochester
Eduardo Rodriguez (Orioles' No. 2), Bowie at Trenton
Logan Verrett (Mets' No. 19), Las Vegas vs. Nashville
Gabriel Ynoa (Mets' No. 14), St. Lucie vs. Charlotte